Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

Metals in solids and solutions (CH2106 )


To develop an understanding of basic descriptions of structure, bonding and properties of solid state materials and metal complexes in solution.

General description

This module will cover common crystal forms including close packing descriptions of metallic and ionic solid state structures, lattice energies and Born-Haber cycles, radius ratio rule, Madelung energy and the Kapustinskii equation. The relationship of lattice energy and solubility for ionic solids will be discussed.

The course will also be concerned with the structure and properties of complexes in solution including the description of colour and magnetism from crystal field theory. Determination of inorganic complex structures through solid state structure. Crystal field theory relating to transition metal impurities in the solid state and its description of solid state and solution phase complexes, their colour and magnetic properties.

Practical work covers aspects of ionic packing and phase transitions, and problem-solving sessions bring together general aspects of inorganic chemistry.

Syllabus content

Description of ionic, covalent, H-bonded and metallic lattices.

Close packing descriptions of metallic and ionic solid state structures.

Lattice energies and Born-Haber cycles.

Radius ratio rule.

Madelung energy and Kapustinskii equation.

Relationship between lattice energy and solubility.

Crystal field theory: by the description of orbital splitting in solids.

Splitting of d-orbitals and splitting diagrams for octahedral and tetrahedral fields.

Metal ions in solution: geometries, solvation and the idea of ligand exchange.

Nomenclature and notation of coordination complexes: formulae, charge balancing, oxidation state, coordination number, electron counting and unpaired electrons.

Origins of colour and magnetism of transition metal complexes in solution.

Simple absorption spectra.

Practical work :

Practical work will use laboratory models to explore the efficient packing of spheres and computer based models to examine more complex crystal structures. The influence of lattice energy on the thermodynamics of reactions involving solids will also be explored by experiment.